Top 5 Waters: The best bass destinations for 2001

Lake Champlain

On the border between New York and Vermont, Lake Champlain is the sixth-largest freshwater body in the United States. Long noted for its trout and smallmouth bass fishing, Lake Champlain is also (finally!) being recognized as one of the top largemouth bass fisheries in the country. The north and south ends of this lake offer largemouths in both quality and quantity. Four-pounders are routinely caught; 7-pounders are occasional. It's possible to catch and release more than 50 largemouths per day here. One reason for this great fishing is the spread to main-lake reef areas of Eurasian milfoil, which has provided new cover for nesting and feeding largemouths. In response, Lake Champlain's largemouth bass population has grown significantly in recent years. Most largemouth bass fishing is done on the Vermont side of the lake. Best times to fish: late spring and late August through early October. For more information on fishing in Lake Champlain, contact the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife (802-878-1564; www.anr.state.vt.us/fw/fwhome/index.htm).